Organic Fruit : What is it?
Perceived as a safer alternative, organic fruits are grown pesticide free on organic soil. They may not be as consistent as conventional fruit in terms of size and color, but they have the same nutrients (some even more). A growing number of people are switching to organic fruits because of health concerns related to ingesting pesticide residues often found in conventionally grown fruits.
While there are no conclusive studies indicating that eating only organic food can improve health, there are studies suggesting that it can lessen pesticide exposure. Children who were on a non-organic diet switched to an organic diet for 5 days, and the pesticides found in their urine before the switch disappeared.
The FDA has recently looked into which fruits have the highest pesticide residues, and among the worst are peaches, apples, strawberries, cherries, grapes, and pears. Consider buying them organically if you are concerned about how ingestion of toxic chemicals can affect your health.
Kinds of Organic Fruits include the following:
|Organic dried fruits|
Organic fresh fruits
- Dried and preserved using sun drying, specialized dehydrators, or heated wind tunnel dryers
- Very nutritious; retains most of the nutritional value of fresh fruits
- Long shelf life
- Practically devoid of trans fats, cholesterol, and saturated fat
- Some fruits – especially cranberries, cherries, blueberries, strawberries, and mangoes - are infused with sweeteners like sucrose syrup prior to drying. Raisins, dates, prunes, apricots, apples, pears, and peaches are typically not infused with any sweetener.
- Color may appear slightly different from non-organic dried variants. For instance, dried organic apricots are darker because they are not treated with sulfur dioxide.
Preserved organic fruits
- Ideally no damage or bruises
- If pre-cut, should be refrigerated or surrounded by ice
- Regular consumption is associated with reduced risks of cardiovascular disease, cancer, stroke, Alzheimer’s, cataracts, and functional declines due to aging
- Jams, jellies, preserves, marmalade, spreads, and fruit butters made from organically grown fruits
- Some organic jams and jellies may be labeled as “fruit spread” because the FDA requires a higher level of sugar in products labeled “jams” and “jellies,” and many organic producers do not wish to put that much sugar in their products
Check the PLU code. If you are shopping for organic fruits in a grocery, check the price lookup number (PLU code) printed on the sticker. Organically grown fruits all have 5- numeral PLU, the first number always being a 9. Conventionally grown fruits, on the other hand, only have 4 numerals. Genetically engineered fruits have 5 numerals, the first number always being an 8. For example, an organic fruit may have the PLU 91234, a conventional fruit may have a PLU of 1234, and a genetically engineered fruit may have a PLU of 81234. The PLU system was invented by the Produce Marketing Association, a produce industry trade group.
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